Every summer, thousands upon thousands of students and sponsors descend on Falls Creek’s 400-acre campus and experience a week-long encounter with the living God, though not every student comes to camp with such an expectation.
Some come merely because a friend asked them to come, some because they hope to repeat as volleyball champs. Some come to camp to skateboard and others enjoy the water sports. Some are at Falls Creek simply because it is something to do other than being at home. In the end, it really doesn’t matter what their reason is for being there, it only matters that God has a reason.
God loves students and He still loves getting in the middle of their messy lives and turning their twisted worlds right-side up. I am convinced God still moves so strongly at Falls Creek because of the prayers of the saints. Men, women and students in our churches, some of whom have never even been to Falls Creek, pick up prayer cards at their church and they pray for individual students and for God’s divine intervention into their lives. Many receive 30-Day Prayer Guides from their youth pastors and undertake a daily regimen of prayer for the month leading up to camp.
All these prayers are lifted to the ears of a God Who loves to hear from His people and respond to their pleas. If the vital ministry of committed prayer ever ceases in regard to Falls Creek, I am convinced it will become nothing more than a scenic place to take a stroll. I have witnessed many changes through the years at Falls Creek, but I have yet to be there in the summer when God’s spirit did not descend on the tabernacle, cabins and small group meetings to crush the hardest of hearts and replace old lives for new.
That is why I am calling on Oklahoma Southern Baptists to pray like never before for Falls Creek. Students are desperately in need of radical life change. They are in need of more than a call to conformity, morality or manners. They require more than mere noticeable changes of outward behavior. They need the Lord God of Heaven to break through their misshapen world views and jaded hearts and reveal their needy condition via the love and forgiveness of Jesus Christ!
This only happens when people pray. I feel we are on the edge of losing an older generation who has carried the bulk of this burden of petition far too long. We need new and plentiful voices of believers throughout our state to take the cares of this young generation to the Lord. Moms and Dads need to come alive in their prayer lives for the children of their homes. Sunday School teachers and small group leaders need to bend their knees for the hearts of those they are called to reach. In his work, Destined For The Throne, Paul Billheimer wrote, “The church, by virtue of her faithful use of prayer, wields the balance of power . . . in the salvation of individual souls. Without violating the free moral responsibility of any individual, the church by means of persistent, believing intercession, may so release the Spirit of God upon a soul that he will find it easier to yield to the Spirit’s tender wooing and be saved than to continue in his rebellion.”
Starting Thurs., March 31, an expanded Falls Creek prayer guide will be posted on www.skopos.org. This prayer guide will help you to pray for this generation with a renewed passion. May God’s people again be faithful to call upon the Lord on behalf of the lost, the wounded and of the weary in this generation. And may He pour out a heavenly blessing on multitudes of students this summer at Falls Creek.
Andy Harrison is Falls Creek program director and student ministry specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.